The global market size for computer numerical control machines (also known as CNCs) in 2020 was valued at over $71 billion. The CNC market is expected to continue to experience significant growth through 2028. Lathes are some of the most popular types of CNC machines. If you’re thinking about buying one or more CNCs for your business, you may be wondering which option is best for your needs: a CNC mini lathe or a regular lathe. Here is some information you should know about each option so you can make the most informed purchasing decision.
Main Differences Between Mini Lathes and Regular Lathes
Mini lathes function generally the same as regular lathes, but they are much smaller. They are basically a miniaturized version of industrial lathes. Mini lathes turn a metal cylinder at high speeds while cutting various shapes into metal or other materials. The smaller size of mini lathes makes them ideal for smaller batch sizes.
Best Uses for Mini Lathes
Mini lathes work great in smaller shops that don’t have a lot of floor space. Some mini lathes can fit on top of a desk or bench. Others are designed to be placed on the floor but have a much smaller footprint than larger lathes.
Mini lathes are used primarily for small-batch manufacturing needs. Some models have advanced programming that makes it possible for them to cut complex shapes and curves much like larger industrial versions can do.
Mini lathes are perfect for making small and intricate parts for jewelry, planes, race cars, robotics and common hobby projects. They are also a good choice for cutting through softer materials such as plastics and wax. Mini lathes are generally more affordable than industrial-sized lathes. But if you’re still looking for ways to save money on your mini lathe purchase, you may want to look into buying a used CNC mini lathe.
What To Look for in a Mini Lathe
When you’re shopping for a used CNC lathe, there are a few things you should look for to make sure you’re getting the best value for your money. Here is a checklist of things to consider when buying a mini lathe for your shop’s needs.
- Good condition
- Previous maintenance records
- Durability of the machine construction and parts
- Sufficient mass or weight to remain stable during operation
- Ease of changing tooling
These are just a few of the considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a used mini lathe. You should also understand that mini lathes are often unable to maintain the same high levels of accuracy as standard industrial lathes. The higher the quality of the mini lathe you buy, the more likely it will meet your expectations. Lower quality mini lathes may be good for creating parts for hobbies, but may not be ideal for manufacturing parts for resale.
Finally, when you’re shopping for a used mini lathe, be sure to purchase from a reputable seller. Some sellers may try to overcharge you for a mini lathe that is not in good working condition. A reputable seller will be upfront with you about any potential issues a mini lathe they are trying to sell may have. They will also be sure to charge you a fair price for any used machine you buy.
Save Money on Used CNC Lathes
Are you thinking about buying a used CNC mini lathe for your shop? To take a closer look at the various used machines we offer here at Premier Equipment, we invite you to give us a call or fill out our online contact form. We are excited to help you choose the perfect used lathe for your business or hobby needs.